Revolutionary War Pension Application :#S40339Private in regiment of Col McGaw Pennsylvania line for 1 yearSent 17 July 1821 to L F Hunt, Esq Cincinnati, OhioOn 5th Jan 1821 was 65 years oldEnlisted 23 January 1776 in Pennsylvania Company commanded by Captain John Beatty in the Reg’t.commanded by Col. Robert MagawCaptured with the garrison at Fort Washington on 16 Nov 1776 and carried into Connecticut. He was later exchanged and never again served in the regular army. He was in the battles of Long Island, York Island, and at the reduction of Fort Washington.
“ By occupation a tailor, have a wife 59 years of age. My children are all of age, settled in life and capable of taking care of themselves. I have a daughter who lives with me and materially contributes to my support in consequence of a partial failure of my eyesight. I cannot now make neat work, but I can cut clothes which my daughter makes up and in this way assists to support me, without her assistance, I could not make a living, and as it's uncertain how long she may continue with me, my dependance on her exertions for my support is precarious. I solemnly declare under oath that I stand in need of the assistance of my country for support.”
Ft. Washington Battle:
Col. Robert Magaw was the Officer in Charge of Fort Washington in Manhatten New York. This five-bastion fortification was to become known as the “Alamo of the Patriot Cause in New York City.” The 5th Pennsylvania Battalion was sent to New York with John and M argaret Cochran Corbin,. The battle took place on N ovember 16, 1776. At 1 p.m. on November 15, a British officer came with surrender terms to Fort Washington. This was considered military protocol of the 18th Century when superior forces had an advantage over a smaller army. Magaw steadfastly refused. Magaw felt he could hold the fort and, if necessary, evacuate his men to the other side of the Hudson River tosafety. Despite the fierce resistance against the superior British and Hessian forces under the command of Gen. Sir William Howe and Gen. von Knyphausen, Col. Magaw was forced to surrender the fort with much loss of life and valued munitions. After the battle, Magaw and other prisoners were marched to lower Manhattan to be transferred to prison ships, which were located throughout the New York waterways. The most famous was the HMS Jersey, a refitted frigate which had become the most notorious of the prison ships. Many died from starvation and disease aboard these prisons. On October 25, 1780, Magaw was freed in an exchange and was later made Colonel of the 6th Pennsylvania Battalion. When the war ended, Magaw went back to Pennsylvania to practice law. He passed away in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in January 1790.On the southeast wall of the Parish House of the F ort Washington Collegiate Church is a plaque honoring Magaw. The plaque was placed there on April 30, 1923. Magaw Place one-block lane between 181st and 183rd Streets in the Heights.
Source: from Sketch of his life in his own hand - GEN. ISAAC VAN HORNE
“Isaac Van Horne, formerly of Bucks County, Pennsylvania…..When about 22 years of age I caught the mania of military parade, spent much time acquiring knowledge of military exercise; was elected ensign of a company of militia. Several regiments of Continental troops being about to be raised, Lacy a neighbor (afterward General Lacy) being appointed a Captain in one of the regiments solicited me to become his ensign. I was appointed to ensign accordingly by the committee of safety, then sitting for the purpose in Philadelphia; January 1776 was assigned to Captain John Beatty’s Company in Colonel Samuel Magaw's regiment.
After the regiment was raised, we marched to Philadelphia barracks, thence to New York, and commenced to Fort Washington twelve miles above New York on the Hudson where we were at work, on the 4th of July 1776, when the news arrived from Philadelphia of the Declaration of Independence. We were marched out, formed into a circle, and Col. Magaw delivered a very animated address on the occasion. At this time the British fleet lay at the Staten Island shore, and the army on the Island in full view.
The battle of Long Island was fought in August, whilst we were at Fort Washington. The next day after we were ordered to Long Island, and being fresh troops, covered the retreat over to New York a few days later. I was left dangerously ill of fever in the city. In a few weeks, I so far recovered as to take a passage in a Gondola to the fort. Sometime after the enemy got possession of New York. Lord Perry came out against us on Sunday morning. The day was spent is skirmishing with but little loss on either side. Next morning the enemy had made good his retreat to New York. On the 16th of November following General Howe with the main body of his army had already taken possession of Kings Bridge above us.
Another body from New York and the Highlanders having crossed the Harlem River, hemmed us completely in, and in the afternoon the American force of about 2,200 men, was surrendered prisoners of war. Our capitulation secured to us our lives, baggage and side arms, but as soon as the enemy took possession of the fort, abuse and plunder commences; side arms, watches, shoe buckles and even the clothes on our backs were wrested from us, and very few, if any of the officers, escaped being stripped of their hats. In the evening we were marched over to Harlem, strictly guarded, and threatened with hanging as Rebels. Thence we were marched to New York.
After some delay the officers were quartered in the houses deserted by the inhabitants, and given their parole of the City, but the soldiers were thrust into Bridewell, sugar houses… where they suffered almost every privation, and soon became diseased and died so fast as to induce the Commanding General to send out the remainder to be exchanged for prisoners were had or might take of theirs. A great many of them however died on the way home. It must be observed, however, that a great number enlisted with the enemy to save the while suffering, in close confinement, and for want of food. The Officers were finally removed to Long Island. In the winter of 1777-8, the Sound being frozen over, and the enemies lines much circumscribed, they were under apprehension that detachments from the American army might pass over the East river and rescue us. Hence we were shipped on board transports to the Bay of New York, and detained there about six weeks where we suffered much from excessive cold.
In May 1777, about sixty officers of different ranks were exchanged, among which I was one. Soon after I got home, I repaired to Valley Forge (headquarters) but the regiment was filled up with officers, and I returned to Bucks County...”